THE Insurance Council of Australia is leading an industry-wide approach to further extend coverage in travel insurance policies for mental health conditions.
Council chief executive Rob Whelan said the industry was reviewing a report into mental health and travel insurance, published recently by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
"The ICA supported and cooperated with the commission investigation, and also supports the aims of the Commission's industry-focused recommendations," he said.
"The ICA has been working with its members and other stakeholders for some time on improving mental health-related coverage and outcomes for travel insurance customers, and strong progress has been made."
Mr Whelan said insurers with more than 80 per cent share of the travel insurance market had either removed or would soon remove general exclusions for mental health conditions, with cover also widely available for first-instance episodes of mental health conditions.
"The ICA is close to finalising an updated Code of Practice, which is likely to contain provisions relating to mental health that take into account concerns raised during the Code review process and emphasised during the investigation," he said.
"Updating the Code is one of a number of steps the ICA and the industry are taking to improve customer outcomes in this important area of public health."
The changes to the travel insurance market reflect the importance of providing mental health cover to travellers, with 45 per cent of Australians likely to suffer a mental health condition at some stage in their life.